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«Comparative Study and ‘Outcome and Impact’ Analysis of Six Vocational Training Projects in West Africa Synthesis report based on six case ...»

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Blessing studied computer in 2005. She did not work in the field but started education at a teachers college in computer and physics. She says the computer studies in the vocational school help her in her studies.

Case 2: Female tailor from Koma village, YOWDAST graduate Mary was trained in tailoring. She dropped out of Junior Secondary School because of the costs of her education. Her mother could not afford to pay the school and examination fees.

With the skills she had learned she started working on a self-employed basis in the shop of someone else. She had to pay little rent and had her own clients. During festivity seasons, the income became bigger. With the savings she has made, she paid the school and examination fee and succeeded in the examination. From the next income, she started animal husbandry at small scale and thus diversified her income. She says that her expectations are met, although the income she makes with tailoring today is below 50% of her family’s financial needs. But the most important aspect is the fact that she has become the bread winner, earning income for her old mother and her sister.

How to determine a “success rate” for income coverage? Is an income coverage of 50% a failure or a success? Possibly, a look at efficiency helps in discussing this topic. If a centrebased training course lasts three to four years, it may be expected that the investments made are finally materialising in jobs that offer decent income potentials at least in the medium term. Non-formal short term courses on the other hand are just a “trade introduction”. The graduate must continue learning, most likely on-the-job, with little earnings in the beginning.

3.5.3 Effectiveness of the measures provided and assessment of hindering factors

Measures specifically assessed are:

• the training in trade skills

• entrepreneurial skills training

• different types of counselling (psycho-social counselling, business counselling) and life skill training hardly any graduate interviewed knew about MFI services. Some importance was given to “getting to know people on attachment or apprenticeship”, but the consultants had expected that this aspect would be rated higher.

In FGD graduates emphasised the importance of certification. For wage employment in the formal sector, a formal TVET certificate is often a condition to get a job. In the case of MTS, the institution is not (yet) accredited. The tracer study showed that the internal MTS diploma was of little use for the graduates when applying for a job in public administration or in the military20. The importance of certificates was even stressed in the case of apprenticeship schemes but it was difficult to get an explanation on the actual benefits. For work in the informal sector, a certificate is rarely demanded by an employer (sometimes it is even a disadvantage). What counts are rather skills, loyalty, honesty and willingness to learn. It seems that the certificate is more of personal use (boosting self-esteem) than of material benefit. In some instances, a certificate may be needed to obtain a business license.

In the case of YOWDAST and possibly in the case of LOIC as well (no confirmation), the subsidy for tools and equipment was rated high as a supportive factor, but in FGD, participants gave more value to the trade and business skills learned on the job.

–  –  –

According to the quantitative analysis, the following factors are most hindering:

• Lack of credit possibilities • Lack of employment possibilities • Lack of business opportunities Lack of employment and business possibilities are closely related, they are the most hindering factor. This finding underlines the necessity to offer vocational skills that are demanded in the market. Family responsibilities and lack of business knowledge was rated of medium importance. Low rating was given to “lack of practical experiences” and “training course not good enough”.

In general, FGD confirmed the quantitative results. Some statements:

• Do not have capital to start (all) For many young men in Nigeria a career in the military is highly desired.

Berufsbildung | Evaluierung

• Not enough work, irregularity of work and payment, income too low (all)

• Scarcity of places to start a business (in towns) (OICG)

• Unfair business practices, customers do not pay (OICG, YOWDAST)

• Do not have a diploma, do not know the right people for getting a job, lack of employment possibilities (MTS)

3.5.4 Overall achievement of project objectives

An overarching project objective of the six VT programmes/ projects is to train young people to become self-reliant. The direct objective is that graduates become wage or self-employed.

The issue of self-reliance is closely connected with the employment status of a person and the income earned. The analysis above shows that approx. 70% of all graduates of the years 2003 – 07 are employed and earn an income and approx. 60% earn an income in the trade learned.

This is a positive overall achievement, however only 35% say that they earn a decent income that covers 75% of their basic needs and above. On the lower end, 35% of the graduates interviewed have sporadic earnings which cover not more than 25% of their needs.





Women earn less than men with the trade skills they have learned. The majority of graduates participating in FGD are still supported by their parents, but at the same time it has to be considered that the majority of interviewed graduates fall in the age group of 20-29. With this information it can be concluded that the skills learned improve livelihood perspectives for the majority of the beneficiaries.

The results on income mentioned above indicate that the objective of promoting self-reliance is about “half way” achieved. This of course is a disputable conclusion. An achievement above 60% may not even be feasible considering the employment situation in most countries.

The external factors that strongly influence this outcome are the overall labour market and economic situation in the four countries and the absolute growth of the youth population.

3.6 Impact

Impact was defined as:

• Direct impact on social status of beneficiaries in their communities (e.g. sustainability of the employment, positive change in social status)

• Direct impact on families (e.g. providing financial support to families, sending children to school)

• Indirect impact on communities (e.g. creation of jobs, apprentices trained, availability of services)

• Indirect impact on gender roles

• Other unintended positive or negative impacts Information on impact was obtained from case studies, FGD and field observations.

–  –  –

3.6.1 Impact on social status of individuals Consultants and partners collected a number of success cases, but it is difficult to quantify the results. In FGD, graduates stated improved self esteem and improved social position in the family and community as the two most important changes. The perceived improvement of the social status is closely connected with the change of the economic situation of a graduate. On a scale of positive social change, those graduates who have established a business on their own outside their home usually ranked highest. Yet, the FGD showed that even graduates who earn relatively little also gave accounts about their improved social status in the family and

community:

• ‘I am more independent, I earn money and can pay the rent of my room’ • ‘Before, I was nobody, now people show me more respect because I have a skill’ (several responses in different locations) • ‘I get more respect from my husband because I have a skill and can earn some income ’ (several responses in four different locations) • ‘People in the village call me an engineer, this is rare for a women’ • ‘I can dress nicely, before I was wearing rugged cloth’ (two responses from two different locations, both men and women) • ‘I am now invited to community functions’ • ‘I do not have a job as a mechanic but I can help other people repair their generators or cars and they help me in return’ The statements have one thing in common: having learned a skill and getting the feeling of being “needed” and “respected” helps young people to develop self esteem, even if the income is small. If expectations raised through the training do not materialise over a longer period of time, the hope may well turn into frustration.

3.6.2 Sustainability of employment

Sustainability of employment is influenced by the economic situation of a country and region and by market developments. According to the tracer study, 69% of graduates are selfemployed. Only a minority of the wage employed have permanent contracts, many graduates work as daily workers. It can be concluded that the majority of graduates works in unstable employment situations as typical for work and income in the informal sector. Very few graduates found permanent formal sector employment.

Case studies show that integration in the “informal” labour market is a process. The most successful cases are graduates who accepted to work for a small income after graduation and later, after having gained experiences, started their own business.

In the rural areas (but also in the context of urban informal markets) one can not speak of “employment” in the conventional way. For rural people trade skills may provide an additional income either in casual work during low farm season or as a “side-business” which provides additional cash income.

Berufsbildung | Evaluierung 3.6.3 Direct impact on families and communities Graduates working and earning an income reported mainly about three direct benefits for

their families:

• Being able to contribute to family income

• Being able to pay school fees for children

• Becoming a bread winner (several women)

FGD in MTS and YOWDAST (sample of 41 graduates) showed that:

• 51% are financially still dependent on their families • 28% provide and get support or are independent • 21% give more support to their parents/ relatives

Examples of benefits given in the “most significant change” exercises conducted in Nigeria:

• ‘bought land from the income made’ • ‘Can feed my family’ • ‘Build a house’ • ‘No need for support from relatives, I am independent’ It is concluded that in most cases the income does not cover the family needs but it is reducing the economic vulnerability of families.

The majority of graduates interviewed are below the age of 30 and earn less than 50% of the basic needs, majority is still depending on parents, thus the direct economic impact on communities is supposed to be limited. But resource persons interviewed in communities

high-lighted benefits such as:

• ‘youth being less dependent on families’, • ‘youth being less idle’, • ‘having less trouble makers in the community’ • ‘self-employed youth becoming positive role models’ • ‘youth participating in reconstruction’ (Liberia) The most visible impact for communities is the creation of jobs and opportunities for training by graduates. According to the tracer study, 24% of the self-employed graduates run a business and employ others. Considering the total sample 2% of the graduates are employing others.

–  –  –

Further examples of impacts stated in rural contexts:

• A trainee repairing a generator in the local hospital even before graduation and graduates taking part in the rehabilitation of the county administrative buildings (LOIC) • A graduate of the computer course opening the first shop in town to service mobile phones (MTS) • Communities getting better quality products and services from the graduates and having services locally available (e.g. welding, motorcycle repair; LOIC, YOWDAST) • Masters employing better skilled workers (SLOIC)

Some positive impacts mentioned may have a potential for negative side effects:

• Communities paying lower rates for services (SLOIC), • Communities no longer have to employ people from other regions (rural village Ganye, Nigeria) As said above, cases have been identified where graduates became respected members of their communities and role models for other youth because of their individual

achievements21. Some exemplary cases:

• A tailor from a rural village, trained by YOWDAST in Ganye in 2003 started a business in 2005 and has since bought two more machines from the earned income and trains two apprentices • A welder in Ganye who was one of the first YOWDAST graduates established a wellfunctioning workshop in the market, presently trains five apprentices and produces steel doors of good quality • A woman in Kumasi who was trained in catering received a loan from OICG and bought a mobile food stall. Her younger brother and sister work with her in the shop and she became the bread winner of the family Please note: no case studies are available of SLOIC and VFT supported VTI.

Berufsbildung | Evaluierung 3.6.4 Indirect impact on gender roles and relations The change of gender roles and relations is not an explicit objective of vocational training.

Projects that explicitly or implicitly aim at improving female employment (VTF, OICG) have addressed gender issues mainly through life skill training and counselling. OICG has employed a female counsellor and a female business development officer.

A general weakness is the insufficient variety of skill training options for women. On average, women are earning less than men, but the means to influence this situation through vocational skills trainings alone are limited. Several respondents said: ‘women who have a skill have a better chance to marry’. Female graduates were saying: ‘since graduation I am more respected in my family/ by my husband’. The focus groups showed, as a result of vocational skills training, both skills and income as enhance the self-esteem of young women and men.



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